This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Frank Lampard has said he will talk to Olivier Giroud in January if he wants to leave.
Following France’s draw with Turkey during the international break, former Arsenal striker Giroud said he will consider leaving Chelsea if he continues to receive so little playing time between now and the start of next year.
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Lampard was asked about the striker’s comments following Chelsea’s match with Newcastle, and he responded: “I have had a good chat with Oli before he went away. I always respect all the players, particularly of his age. I was in that sort of low-30s age. I love his professionalism. He was bang on when he spoke to me. He was bang on with his quotes when he was away with France.
“He shouldn’t be happy and accept not playing. That’s what good players do. As I said to Oli, he will get his games and be a big influence for us. At the moment, because of how Tammy is playing at the moment, there haven’t been as many minutes.
“So, that will be something I will sit down happily with Oli in January but January is quite a long way away.”
Giroud’s frustration can certainly be understood. So far this term, he has started just three games in all competitions, which comes after he scored 11 goals during the Blues’ triumphant Europa League run last season. He also scored in both of France’s latest Euro 2020 qualifiers as well, showing he can still net at the highest level.
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However, Tammy Abraham has scored nine in the opening 12 fixtures, and fully deserves to keep his place in the starting line-up. At just 21 years of age, he represents the future of the club, whilst Giroud, who Chelsea signed for £18m in 2018, does not have long left at the top anyway.
Behind the scenes, his comments are unlikely to have gone down too well with Lampard. It is essentially a thinly-veiled threat from the former Montpellier man, and they are not the quotes of a man who is prepared to put the dressing room harmony ahead of his own desire to play. Even if he had said he would consider leaving in the summer, that would have made sense, but considering Chelsea are under a transfer ban until next year, it would not do the Stamford Bridge outfit much good if he left before then.
The former Derby County boss, though, has handled the comments fantastically, and his response shows Giroud who is boss. By saying he has happy to sit down with him in January and discuss a potential move, he has called the France international’s bluff and quashed any potential media speculation as to his relationship with the player at the same time.
Just as he has done on other occasions this term, he looks as though he is relishing the pressure of such a big Premier League job, and long may it continue.